St. Joseph School District will not be joining the roughly 170 Missouri school districts that have moved to a four-day school week. The school board there voted 4-3 Monday night to reject a plan to move to the shortened weeks.

The board made its decision after about 90 minutes of public comments and two dozen speakers.

Missourinet affiliate KFEQ in St. Joseph reports there was passionate discussion on the topic. Some parents told the board the plan would be too disruptive to family schedules, but teachers urged the board to adopt it, stating it would help attract quality teachers to the district.

St. Joseph School Superintendent Gabe Edgar said the district is at a crossroads and he believes a four-day school week is what the district needs to recruit and retain teachers.

The northwest Missouri school board represents more than 10,500 students.

Missouri school districts operating on the four-day model are mostly rural ones trying to compete with larger districts to attract teachers. After the pandemic, larger ones began to consider the shortened weeks.

Nearby Independence School District is the state’s largest district operating four days a week. It has roughly 14,000 students.

On the other side of the state, Fox School District in Arnold reconsidered a plan Monday night to switch to a four-day school week. A community forum was held to discuss the model for the district of 10,500 students.

Missourinet